What do i say about Red Dead Redemption? One blog post will hardly do justice to describe this magnum opus. Red Dead Redemption is a third person action adventure title developed by Rockstar, the game studio responsible for the highly successful GTA series. Set in the badlands of the wild wild west in the late 19th century, you play as John Marston – a former outlaw who is now forced to hunt down his former gang members. Its an open sandbox adventure, which means that the game does not have a linear structure. Players have freedom to traverse the map in any way they choose, playing different side-missions in any order, before they continue with the main storyline missions. This allows the players to play as creatively as they want as there is no “right way” of playing such games. Other games with an open sandbox model were Fallout 3, Mass Effect , GTA: San Andreas, GTA IV etc to name a few.
Red Dead Redemption takes this open-sandbox nature to the next level. As you traverse the open world of Red Dead Redemption, you will come across a plethora of side-missions which will vary from rescuing kidnapped women and children, chasing down criminals for a reward, gambling, hunting birds and animals like bears, lions and coyotes, search for flowers in the desert, assault gang hide-outs, rob stage coaches, fight in cowboy style duels, treasure hunt and do a lot lot more in addition to the main storyline which will take you through a hollywood-like plot from helping the town sheriff kill the bad guys to taking part in a revolt in mexico against the dictator and his army.
The game also has, like other sand box games, an in-built morality meter. For any of the side missions you can choose to play as a good guy or bad. For example you can take part in missions to save people from being robbed and thus increase your fame or you can choose to live by robbing the stage coaches in the area and getting notorious. If your rating falls too low then you’ll soon have a reward on your head and cops and other bounty hunters will hunt you down and you must be prepared to fight them off. Im sure that this will set the cat among the pigeons and well soon find some old US senators discussing on various news channels(im looking at you Fox!!) about how this game encourages crimes and violent behaviour just like the furore caused due to some elements of the GTA: San Andreas and GTA IV games.
All in all, Red Dead Redemption looks to be one helluva game. Its the first game developed by Rockstar San Diego (the previous GTA series being developed by Rockstar North) and it is already garnering rave reviews and immense buzz. The game releases on 18th May 2010 for the PS3 and the Xbox 360.
The game has been in development for a long time and there have been many rumours in the past that it came close to being cancelled. There were also many controversies a few months back dogging the Rockstar San Diego studio. Many of the employees were complaining of long work hours and bad management policies. This along with reports of Rockstar not happy with the final game, as it was at that time, leading to a postponement in release date, caused many to speculate about the future of the game. Reports suggested that the amount of money put into Red Dead’s development can not be realistically recovered, which would lead to a loss for the studio. However, the main objective of the game, the reports claimed, was to prove that Rockstar San Diego had the resources and know-how to develop a full fledged top class AAA title. Judging by the reviews, it has definitely done so. It also looks like the initial skepticism about the potential sales of the game may have been too pessimistic. It definitely looks like its going to be one of the top selling games of the year.
So what are you waiting for? Get into those darn cowboy boots, shoot the hats off those criminal gunslingers, save the girl and ride off into the Mojave sunset.